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The Philly Fed manufacturing index slips to 23.1 in February after a big jump the month before

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Numbers: The The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said Thursday iThe gauge of regional commercial activity moderated in February after a strong gain the previous month. The federal government’s regional index of commercial activity fell to 23.1 from 26.5 the previous month. The index was much stronger than the 9.1 reading in December. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal were expecting a reading of 19.2. Any reading above zero indicates expansion in manufacturing.

What happened: The overall Philly Fed index is based on a single independent question on trading conditions, unlike the National Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index, which is a component-based composite.

This month, the components were also weaker.

The new orders barometer slipped to 23.4 in February from 30 the previous month. The deliveries index fell slightly to 21.5 from 22.7 in January.

The six-month trade outlook measure fell to 39.5 from 52.8 the previous month.

Big picture: Earlier this week, a similar index released by the New York Fed rose from 3.5 to 12.1, the highest since July. Economists use the New York and Philadelphia regional indices to gauge the strength of the national ISM index, which slipped 1.8 points to 58.7 in January, manufacturers learned how to deal with the Covid pandemic -19 and the activity is booming. It was the service sector that was wiped out by the deadly virus.

Market reaction: U.S. stock index futures fell slightly on Thursday, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.62%
saw his third straight record close in the previous day’s session.

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